March 20, 2017

Knowing Where Germs Hide}

Knowing Where Germs Hide


Wendy Mitchell

Knowing where germs hide can help keep your family safe. Yet a recent survey spanning 10 countries found that Americans are surprisingly unaware of the places where their kids are most likely to come into contact with germs.

Only 5 percent of Americans identified the home as the place where children are most likely to catch an infection, when, in fact, studies show that there is a greater risk of transmission in the home than outside. Worse, a mere 3 percent were aware that the bathtub is one of the germiest spots in the house.

The survey was sponsored by LYSOL as part of a Hygiene Council effort to educate the public on the importance of hygiene.

Where The Germs Are

Here’s a look at where the Hygiene Council says germs live:

• The Bathtub: A study found the germ most commonly responsible for serious staph infections to be in 26 percent of bathtubs versus 6 percent of garbage cans.

• The Kitchen Countertop: Counters can harbor more bacteria than the toilet seat.

• The Kitchen Floor: The floors can have more than 10,000 bacteria per square foot.

• The Bathroom Light Switch: The switch has as many bacteria as the garbage can.

• The Bathroom Countertop: The sink and faucet handle have more bacteria than the toilet seat.

• Toys: Toys host a dangerous range of bacteria.

Avoiding Germs

The Council recommends the following good hygiene practices:

• Hand Washing-Wash hands regularly, especially after going to the toilet, before and after preparing food, after touching animals and if a family member is ill. Use soap and water and dry thoroughly.

• Surface Disinfection-Commonly touched surfaces should be regularly disinfected with products such as LYSOL Disinfectant Spray. Kitchen surfaces should also be cleaned and disinfected before and after preparing food.

• Proper Food Handling-To avoid food-borne illness, cook and store food at the proper temperature; separate raw meats from fresh produce and packaged goods; and regularly disinfect surfaces to prevent cross contamination.

Learning MoreFor more information, you can access the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ounce of Prevention materials at You can also visit the Hygiene Council at or visit surfaces in your home can help keep germs at bay-and keep your family healthy.

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Knowing Where Germs Hide }

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